Flip phones, the Metaverse, and connectivity are all high on the agenda at Mobile World Congress (MWC), as the telecommunications industry’s largest annual gathering returns to a nearly full house.
With nearly 90,000 attendees from more than 200 countries and territories visiting Barcelona, the event is slowly returning to the 109,000 attendance figures held in 2019.
Between gadgets, robots and smart glasses, there was a serious undercurrent to the event, as happened in a post-lockdown world where the importance of digital networks was evident. It covered everything from 5G and artificial intelligence development to public policy.
Not everyone was positive about the data-driven world we live in
“As digital technology continues to develop, new excitement is unfolding…The transition to Web 3.0 will unleash a new explosion in network traffic, and it’s critical that we work together to prepare.” “Consumers living in a cyber world need more capacity at the network edge to extend the capabilities of cloud computing, and our industry is well positioned to do that.”
But not everyone was positive about the data-driven world we live in today.
The debate about fair share between networks and tech companies resurfaced. Industry representatives used the event as a platform to urge governments to take steps to force big tech companies to invest in mobile infrastructure, citing falling retail prices and rising data consumption, and the cost of network upgrades combined to create a “perfect storm,” he warned. ” For telecom companies in Europe.
Pietro Labriola, head of Telecom Italia, also pointed to rising interest rates and declining economic growth as threats to the sustainability of network operators.
There was also support from the authorities. Speaking at MWC, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said the EU may need to use big tech companies to get cash to invest in the network. Companies such as Netflix claim to profit from the infrastructure provided by carriers and want big tech to reach out and contribute to the cost of expanding and upgrading their networks. .
“We need to find a financing model for fairly distributed, large-scale investments that respects and preserves the fundamental elements of European acquis. [body of law]’” Bretton said at the event.
How quickly that will happen is anyone’s guess. The industry has been pushing this he has been doing for more than a decade, but some national authorities have already withdrawn their plans. The Dutch government, citing net neutrality rules, has warned against imposing a toll on tech companies.
Bretton denied that this was to put the interests of telecom companies ahead of technology companies, not a choice between network providers and the companies that serve the traffic.
“The real challenge for me is to ensure that by 2030, our fellow citizens and businesses across the EU have access to fast, reliable and data-hungry gigabit connectivity. is,” he said. “And for that we need the connectivity networks (highways) of the future. That is the vision.
The discussion may become even more important as the metaverse still lurks. The next generation of the internet was being touted everywhere in response to his CES in January. At this point, the metaverse has shifted its focus to the industrial metaverse instead of just targeting the consumer space. The Facebook owner’s experience with Meta — all-in on the Metaverse, but with Mark Zuckerberg’s lofty ambitions tempered by reality — still looms large for newcomers to the market.
Nokia is one of the companies that has voiced the potential of future networks.
The Metaverse was the topic of several discussions at the conference, from industrial applications of the Metaverse to how technology combined with artificial intelligence and augmented reality could advance education.
But 5G and other future connectivity will be essential to fueling the growth of that metaverse and connecting everything in this new immersive world, the carriers argue.
Nokia is one of the companies that spoke out about the possibilities of future networks. The company is future-ready, positioning its network as the underlying fabric of all digital, requiring a traditional network to integrate with the flexibility and scalability of the cloud.
Pekka Lundmark, Nokia’s president and chief executive officer, said: “We see a future where networks go beyond connecting people and things. They are adaptive, autonomous and consumable. maximize opportunities for innovation.”
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Future plans include a revamped brand to position Nokia as a B2B technology company and new strategies to deliver sustainable and profitable growth. It builds on increased investment in R&D and a new technology strategy that outlines how networks need to evolve to meet the demands of the Metaverse era.
However, it wasn’t all about the network and the metaverse. MWC has traditionally been a platform for mobile manufacturers to showcase their latest smartphones and tablets. Things have changed a little bit now that some important announcements (for example, Samsung’s new Galaxy S22 flagship device) now precede the show.
However, there have been announcements, and China’s Xiaomi on Sunday unveiled its latest device, the 13 series smartphone, along with a slew of wearables, including the S1 Pro, on the mobile market.
And if you thought foldable phones were a gimmick that would disappear as soon as they came out, you’d be wrong. is still very important. Samsung had already unveiled the new generation of his Z Flip and Z Fold devices, but it’s clear that competition is looming.
One Plus is also venturing the foldable phone route, solidifying plans for a foldable phone launch on the show floor.
Oppo has announced that it will bring its foldable phone Find N2 to the international market after first launching it in China last year. Another Chinese brand, Honor, was also promoting its foldable phone, Vs Magic.Like Oppo, the company already sells the device in the Chinese market. We are currently planning to bring it to the European and international markets.
One Plus is also tackling the foldable phone route, solidifying plans to launch a foldable phone on the show floor. The bad news is we’ll have to wait until later this year.
The Barcelona meeting is just the beginning of a series of events expected to set next year’s agenda in the mobile space. Next up are his MWC Shanghai in June, Las Vegas in September and Africa next month. All are sure to bring further discussion and highlight innovation in the sector.